Opinion

Give Us The Nigeria of Our Dreams

Education
Professor Isaac Adeyemi, Vice Chancellor, Bell University of Technology  (BELLSTECH), Ota, Ogun State

  • Focus More on the Foundation- Primary/ Secondary Education
  • Promote an ICT- driven educational system

The new administration should formulate a well and thought-out national working plan that will span between 10 and 20 years, for all tiers of education which include; the primary, secondary, trade centres, vocational centres and tertiary institutions.
First and foremost, the incoming administration must place emphasis on all the tiers of the nation’s educational system. However, emphasis must be placed on the foundation- the primary and secondary tiers because as the Bible says in Psalms 11:3, If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The infrastructural base, quality of  teachers, training and retraining of teachers must also be looked into.
Secondly, the infrastructural system plays a key role, because in the world over, education is now ICT driven, but with an efficient power stability. So, the new administration should look into this area of ensuring the sector fully embraces an ICT-driven system. Thirdly, the inspectorate section of regulators must be strengthened at all tiers of our educational system.
The new administration to revisit technical/vocational education in the country, stating that the infrastructure and certificates awarded by them must be revisited, in order to encourage candidates to attend them.
The government should revisit Yakubu Gowon’s strategy. During Gowon’s time as head of state, he introduced a massive scholarship scheme for graduates with first class and second class upper to forge ahead for their post-graduate studies in our indigenous and foreign universities.
4 Comrade Michael Alogba-Olukoya, National President, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT)
-Establish an Education Bank
-Introduce free education.
The first port of call for the government is to devote more funds to education sector in order to address the vexed issue of acute underfunding and stagnation in the sector.
The government should accord the development of Information Communication technology (ICT) top priority in the scheme of education development, while technical and vocational education sub-sector should be given a boost. The new administration should introduce the free education policy at all levels, and establish an Education Bank to take care of the needs of students from poor socio-economic background.
Aviation
Captain Noggie Meggison, Chairman, Airline Operators in Nigeria (AON)
-Eradicate multi tax regime on domestic Carriers
-Establish Line Stations for aircraft maintenance
The establishment of aircraft maintenance hangars in the country, removal of multiple tax regimes given by aviation authorities to domestic carriers, removal of Value Added Tax  (VAT) on air transportation as in other modes of transportation are urgent issues this
regime must tackle. Another urgent issue is the huge number of foreign airlines operating in and out of Nigeria who are not paying VAT.
It is disheartening that aviation industry contributes just 0.4 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria when foreign airlines operating into Nigeria are contributing up to 34 per cent to their economy with Nigerian passengers. We sincerely hope the new administration settles down in office, to put a strong aviation policy in place. The government should also compel foreign carriers to set up line station for aircraft maintenance in the country to employ local engineers and enhance the growth of the sector.
Olisa Agbakoba, 
Former Nigerian Bar association (NBA) President and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)
-Maximise the benefits of BASA with other countries
-Use Laws and regulations to support local operators
President Buhari can diversify the Nigerian economy by focusing on the aviation sector as a major revenue earner with huge potentials. With about 170 million persons, regional economic potentials, 22 airports and a growing mass of flying middle class, much attention should be paid to Nigeria’s aviation industry.
5The areas this young administration can focus on include: Strategies for maximising the advantages of Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and other high end aviation partner countries, legal and regulatory imperatives for the aviation safety to raise international acceptance and usability of Nigeria air space. Others are framework for utilisation of ‘Open Skies’ pact and other international protocols and development of a National Aviation Policy. One of such framework is the introduction of Aviation  Cabotage.
For instance, countries like Chile, Australia and United States, use laws and regulations effectively to support local operators. This government should ensure the passage of Fly Nigeria Bill by the National Assembly. The new government should influence a single digit interest rate loans to be accessed by domestic airlines from banks.
Energy
Sola Oyinlola,Chairman, Schlumberger Africa-
-Retain the local content policy and expand it to other sectors
– Tackle domestic technical capacity, financial limitations and infrastructure
The new government should retain the local content policy because Nigeria is becoming a force to reckon with in the petroleum industry through the support of the Nigerian Content Act.
The success of the national content agenda, with its ability to create massive multiplier effects in other sectors of the economy underlines the need to expand the initiative into other sectors such as power and telecommunication. Despite the success recorded so far with the scheme, the lack of in-country financial capacity to undertake big-ticket transactions, inadequate infrastructure, and the deplorable state of supporting industries are major challenges this government must tackle promptly.
Other inhibitions include lack of domestic technological creativity, technical capacity as well as dearth of research and development institutions . To achieve the full potentials of this sector, the critical missing link between strategy and action must be addressed to avoid the persistent incapacitation that public policy initiatives and programmes always suffer.
Government should actively collaborate with development partners including the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and multilateral agencies, to implement identified solutions to the myriad problems catalogued above.
3Ayodele Oni, Solicitor/specialist in international energy investment law
-Do not Change Personnel solely for Political Reasons
– Pay initial attention to short-term solutions to Power Generation
Most times in Nigeria, change in government typically means change in personnel whether these persons are excelling at what they do or not.. This is mostly done for political reasons as newly elected candidates prefer to surround themselves with ‘their people’ and loyalists. It is important that the incoming government refrains from employing a similar approach especially where it is likely to result in loosing experienced and tested hands, it is important that the Buhari/Osinbajo administration sees fit to retain productive Personnel and minds that will drive the energy sector in the right direction. The new administration should also avoid the lure of interfering with the duties/functions of regulatory bodies.
Although, a handful of developed countries use nuclear fission for their power sector, it is important that Nigeria doesn’t employ this approach yet. This is because, we do not have the pre-requisites for same. The technical know-how to manage such energy is not available here. Nigeria today, needs to solve the natural gas supply problem, insecurity challenges, support some other forms of renewable power generation such as the new clean coal technology especially because of Nigeria’s large coal deposits together with an improvement in emergency response before considering technologies such as nuclear fission for generating power. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, which occurred in March 2011, is a good example of how countries that have advanced technologically have suffered from nuclear disasters, irrespective of the multiple layers of
safeguards put in place.
The new administration should pay more attention towards the delivery of temporary solutions to power shortage in the country whilst long-term solutions are fine-tuned. the new administration needs to think through an excellent emergency power policy as that was one of the failings of the current administration.
Beyond building emergency power plants, a national power audit is necessary for the proper determination of the actual volume of electricity required there is a need to upgrade the transmission infrastructure currently in place. There is a need to shift from employing just hydro and gas as sources of fuel for power generation to other sources like solar, coal gasification technologies etc.
Igwe Achese,
President, National Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG
-Government must end fuel importation and protect pipelines
-Job security in should be the cardinal point of job creation.
The new government must end importation of petroleum products within a record time.
They must also ensure the safety of the nation’s pipelines network to reduce the haulage of products by roads with its negative consequences including loss of lives through road accidents and traffic gridlock .The new government must ensure job security in the sector, as the cardinal programme of the party is job creation.
The four refineries must be rehabilitated and new ones established to end or reduce massive importation of petroleum products into the country. Government must also protect the nation’s pipelines from vandals because with public depots scattered across the country, products will move through the pipelines to all the major depots across
the country. This will reduce the pressures on our roads with its consequences such as road accidents and gridlocks. Again, without the safety of the pipelines, crude cannot even get to refineries. The government must also rehabilitate and expand all the access roads to the refineries.
Manufacturing
Dr. Frank Jacobs, President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN)
– Eliminate estimated billings
– Expand Nigeria’s gas network
The new government should ensure appropriate pricing of electricity. Electricity tariff should reflect the actual consumption by industries instead of the current use of estimated billings. It should also make it mandatory for DISCOs to procure prepaid meters from local manufacturers and distribute same to all customers to properly regularise electricity billing.
The new administration should expand the country’s gas network and facilitate adequate local sourcing of Low-Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO), especially for supply at reasonable price to industries operating in areas without gas network.
Alhaji Remi Bello, President, LCCI
-Undertake a holistic review of the Power sector
– Deregulate oil and gas downstream sectors
It is necessary for the new administration to undertake a holistic review of the power sector reform. This should cover the processes of the reform and the capacity of the major institutions in the power delivery chain. The regime must immediately deregulate the oil and gas downstream sector in order to provide an enduring solution to the recurring problem of petroleum product scarcity, corruption inherent in the subsidy regime, the collapse of refineries, lack of investment in the downstream sector, loss of jobs and so on. Options available to the incoming administration in this matter are very limited. Government’s direct involvement in the operations of oil and gas sector should be discontinued.
[ad id=”169″]Government needs to get out of the way, so that the sector and the economy as a whole can make progress. This will pave the way for the restoration of normalcy in the sector and attract private capital, boost investments and create more jobs. On this, I appeal to labour unions and the citizens to give the expected deregulation and reforms in the oil and gas sector a chance. The current model of managing the sector has done colossal damage to the Nigerian economy. It is in the overriding interest of the economy and the citizens to quickly deregulate the sector.
Marketing Communications
Mr. Kelechi Nwosu, President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN)
-Use certified professional to run government communication
-Start a national re-orientation project
It would be ideal for the new government of President Buhari to engage the professional support of certified specialists in the onerous task of projecting the immense potentials of the Nigerian brand. The government should re-configure the national communication
architecture in other to give impetus to a robust economy, promote national re-orientation, inspire innovation, as well as enable entrepreneurship and create choice. It should also pursue local content, affirmation policy and allow experienced professionals to run government communication to avoid the lack of public support and buy-in
that trailed certain policies introduced during the current tenure as a result of poor communication and engagement.
Indeed, AAAN would wish to propose nation building initiatives to the incoming government such as a national re-orientation project. Nigeria needs a re-orientation project that will build civic pride, promote ethical values and get Nigerians believing in Nigeria and her assets. A corollary to this is to ensure that Nigerians begin to appreciate
and support made in Nigeria products and brands. The new government should create a plan to inspire innovation, enable industry, reward productivity to make Nigeria a progressive and competitive economy. “This will provide the opportunity to grow many dynamic and respected Nigerian brands. Advertising is a critical tool in this regard because we help create choices that fuel the economy and even the polity
John Ehiguese,
President, Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN)
-Commission a nation rebranding campaign.
-Use expert to plan and execute your communication activities
PRCAN is appealing to President Buhari to, as soon as he settles down in office, begin the process of commissioning a strategic nation branding campaign that would ride on the immense goodwill that the country currently enjoys. This project should be planned and executed by a team of experts in the area of strategic communication.
PRCAN is a sectorial body that caters for the interests of the consultancy arm of PR practice in Nigeria. It is legally backed by a Bye Law of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and charged with the mandate of regulating PR consultancy practice in Nigeria. The body currently has a membership of 50 PR consultancy firms ready to support this noble project in a very effective manner.
ICT
Dr. Chris Uwaje, Past President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON
-Promote patronage of local ICT firms
-Use ICT to tackle insecurity
Government must create policies that will encourage patronage of local companies in the hardware and software sub-sectors. e-Security must be encouraged by the new  government to tackle mounting security challenges that have bedevilled Nigeria over the years, leading to loss of lives and property, especially in the north-eastern part of the country.
Indeed, insecurity could be tackled using ICT tools that allow government to detect, apprehend and forestall security breaches. There are technology tools today that can allow our government to deal with this perennial security problem, we have come to a stage in our life where ICT tools should be leveraged to engender security of lives and property for our citizens.”
Prof. David Adewunmi, President, Nigeria Computer Society
-Promote ICT- driven education
-Implement the current broadband policy
There is a need for the new government to look deeply into how we can create  ‘smartness’ around our educational system. “We are looking forward to seeing the new government fully promoting ICT-driven education, where we have smart classrooms,
smart laboratories, smart halls of residence, and so on. There is need for the in-coming administration to leverage ICT to ensure that Nigeria produced globally-competitive students.
[ad id=”667″]I also expect the new government to ensure it continues with the ongoing broadband policy implementation, which seeks to deepen broadband penetration from its current eight per cent to 30 per cent by 2018. Broadband has been identified as the next big frontier for telecoms revolution in Africa.
Also, broadband has correlation with economic gains, as a study by the World Bank has shown that for every 10 per cent investment in broadband, a country records 1.4 per cent annual economic gains
Mr. Lanre Ajayi,. President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON),
-Remove all barriers to broadband expansion
-Ensure effective ICT industry regulation
The Buhari government should support telecoms companies towards removing all barriers to the deployment of broadband infrastructure that can help in boosting the country’s digital economy. He said that having ubiquitous broadband would drive tele-medicine and other sectors of the economy.
We also need effective regulation of the industry, ranging from the appointment of a new minister with good understanding of the ICT industry to the strengthening of the existing regulatory agencies such as the NCC and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). This is in order for the agencies to be able to deliver their mandate in an unbiased manner, which, in turn, leads to improved competition that guarantees high quality of service for telecoms consumers.
Chief Wole Olanipekun, OFR, Legal luminary/Senior Advocate of Nigeria
-Our Governments should understudy Yew’s success in Singapore
-Overhaul the value/moral tapestry of the nation
I believe that the nub of Nigerians’ agenda for the incoming administration is ensconced in Singapore’s success story with Prime Minister Lee Kwon Yew. It has been said variously and I agree that the most daunting challenge of the Nigerian state is corruption. Indeed, for this nation to move forward, we must not just criminalise corruption; it must become an anathema to us. How then do we kill corruption, and not just merely administer anaesthetics to it, such that it will not regain consciousness after the tenure of this administration? For me, this fight goes beyond prosecuting offenders and making scapegoats of few.
This is about fundamentally repairing the value/moral tapestry of this nation. We must of necessity design a robust and all-encapsulating policy that will see to the entrenchment of the values of integrity, honesty and probity in every ramification of our national life. Let a value-system emergency be declared. Let these values be our national refrain. Let meritocracy be the directive principles of all public and private establishments.

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